Solar Impulse 2 Crosses the Atlantic Ocean
-June 23, 2016: Solar Impulse 2 flown by Betrand Piccard landed in Seville, Spain, becoming the first plane to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean without fuel. Its flight over the ocean lasted an arduous 3 days and 3 nights (71 hours 8 minutes).
On May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first ever to fly nonstop across the Atlantic. His pioneering flight became a catalyst for the modernity of air travel, sparking the desire of humans to find innovative ways to conquer the Atlantic: larger, higher, faster, quieter, smoother, cleaner.
Technology aided the proceeding less notable pioneers, in 1931, the Graf Zeppelin operated the first commercial TATL flight, in 1951, the RAF Canberra became the first jet to fly the Atlantic nonstop, and in 1958, the BOAC inaugurated TATL jet commercial service. The institution of jets served as an impetus for the growth of affordable and quick transatlantic flights- transatlantic flying has become an experience as easily obtainable as overlooked. Presently, over two thousand aircraft fly across this vast expanse of water each day, a striking example of mankind's ingenuity and dedication over a century.
In a few minutes, transatlantic flight will earn another accolade. Solar Impulse 2-flown by Bertrand Piccard-will touch down in Seville, Spain, becoming the first solar powered aircraft to make this illustrious Atlantic crossing. Less portentously, this event will mark SI2's 16th month of her journey and third to last stop in her around the world flight.
70 hours of nonstop flight
17,248 solar cells
0 fuel and emissions
An exploration to change the world.
I was honored to be able to attend Solar Impulse 2's trans- Atlantic flight departure at Kennedy. As cliche as this may sound, standing next to RWY 13R at 2:30AM watching this massive and slow aircraft depart is an experience I will never forget.
by David Xian
June 23, 2016